For those in the know, it should come as no surprise that ESPN conducts a monthly sports poll asking America to name its favorite active pro athlete.  It should come as no surprise to anyone that the athlete that came out on top in December was none other than the Denver Bronco's Tim Tebow.

They also report a nice little fact with the poll: In the 18 years that they have conducted it, only 11 different athletes have been placed in the #1 spot.  Tim can now relate with such top sports celebrities as "Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and LeBron James."  That's cool!

ESPN added that Tim was chosen by three percent of those surveyed, beating out Kobe Bryant(2%), Aaron Rodgers(1.9%), Peyton Manning(1.8%), and...the guy he'll be matched up against this Saturday, Tom Brady(1.5%).    

"To put this in perspective, Tim Tebow rose to the top before the end of his second pro season. It took Tiger Woods three years, LeBron James eight years and Kobe Bryant 11 years," Rich Luker, founder and director of the ESPN Sports Poll, said. "I think we may be at the front end of a new era in sports stars."

The Denver Broncos with Tebow at the helm play the New England Patriots this Saturday night in the first Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs. Game time is 6:00 pm(MST)

Do you think the Broncos are going to the big game?